The Battle of 34th Street

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The Empire State Building has been scaled several times by giant gorillas and emerged unscathed, but now it’s threatened by the prospect of a giant hippopotamus squatting two blocks away. The owners of a property across the street from Pennsylvania Station want to erect a 1,216-foot tower on the site. The owners of the Empire State Building have called the Penn Station tower a “monstrosity” that could blot out the svelte Depression-era tower, at least from certain viewpoints. (That’s the proposed tower crowding out the Empire State Building, in an image provided by the latter’s owners.) Not only will the new tower approach the iconic building in height, the Penn Station tower will also be wider to accommodate the open-floor plans tenants prefer nowadays.

EdgarSt_07_image1 It’s all about the silhouette. The Empire State Building has a Jimmy Stewart profile, while the Penn Tower looks more like Jimmy Kimmel. Perhaps, in place of a 17-block no-go zone surrounding the Empire State Building, as its owners have demanded, a more slender and sexy building on Seventh Avenue could complement the Empire State Building. One candidate could be Iwamoto Scott Architecture‘s flamboyant, almost fantastical, highrise known as the Edgar Street Tower (left)–or would be, if there were any realistic prospects for it ever being built.

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